The pictures in this post have not been filtered or edited.
Some moments are already beautiful enough.
We are a start-the-festivities-at-midnight kind of couple.
Every Christmas Eve, we end up opening a gift from one another because morning feels too far away.
At exactly 12:00 a.m. last night, JB leaned in and gave me my first happy birthday wish.
Well, technically, my second. My dad beat him to it on Facebook, but if you read this blog regularly, you're not surprised.
Today landed right in the middle of a busy week. JB booked the day off anyway. These are the small things that are actually big things, right? It would never occur to him to spend it apart. Everyone should have that for their birthday.
I was directed to stay in bed, while he ran around getting the kids ready for school. I did my best to send telepathic messages to him, so he would remember to cut up the grapes for the lunch boxes (he really doesn't like it when I remind him out loud), but it turns out he put pancakes in their lunches instead.
My day officially started with a delivery of a chocolate coconut-covered donut (my favourite) and coffee, from the feisty three-year-old.
You have FLOWWWWEEES, Mama!
Sometime between the moon and sun, an earlybird left a delightful surprise at our front door.
She has four kids, too. And we can be brutally and beautifully honest about what it's like to drive our respective minivans. Sometimes devouring a bag of chips is the only way to end a day. She knows that, and I'm grateful for her understanding and perspective (and for knowing my favourite flavour).
Then we hit the ground running. Into the sunshine and on to the trails for a gorgeous morning walk through our neighbourhood. I let these two get a little bit ahead, so I could take in the sight of our unexpected baby and the husband who took the news of her impending arrival with such grace. I never imagined I'd be 40 and have a three-year-old. I'm so glad life can play tricks on your imagination.
If you're a regular reader visitor to this space, you also won't be surprised that my parents and sister and brother-in-law wanted to have lunch together. It didn't matter that we saw one another the day before, it was a new day. A special day. A dim sum day (my favourite lunch). That's how this family rolls. Lucky us, right? My mom gave me a card that called me her daughter and best friend. I am going to do whatever I can to be able to write those same words in a card someday.
And then there's Facebook and the way it makes you feel like you've stepped into a greeting card store, where very single card is written out to you. And as often as I've seen the words Thanks for the Facebook birthday wishes on other people's walls, I know those wishes came from you. Each of them a moment of your time, and every word appreciated. Thank you.
We dropped the tiny troublemaker off for a couple of hours of preschool and hurried down to the lake for a much-anticipated stroll. We have a long-standing tradition of buying ourselves a new pair of grown up shoes on the first day of school. This year, JB convinced me to wait. He had seen a pair he thought would be fitting for a day like this one.
Ooooh-weeee, he knows me well.
We wandered in and out of stores, with lattes and Americanos.
We soaked up the freedom of moving at our own pace, without pit stops, without demands.
But still we watched the time carefully, because our little one doesn't like it if we're late. And having Daddy come to her school is a really big deal. And her big deal is our big deal, of course.
We met the school bus, and I watched as the kids made their way down its steps. When our boy saw me, he threw his hands behind his back and did his best to hide his wide and sneaky smile.
It seems he told the kids that sit at his table about my birthday. And they all wrote me tiny notes with birthday wishes. He put them in a homemade envelope and brought them to me. He was wearing his joy face when he gave it to me. Finding friends at school who understand and accept his quiet intensity is hard. That envelope held gifts for both of us.
There were so many indulgences through the day (and a few more surprise porch drop offs of flowers and chocolates and heartfelt notes from faraway and thoughtful friends). There was even a surprise collection of cupcakes at a parent meeting I had to attend.
My friends, thank you.
I had no idea this is where I would be at 40.
I've achieved so many things I didn't know I would.
I've become less afraid of giving or showing too much of myself.
I've been hurt and jostled, yes.
But I've also been loved and lifted.
So here's a wish from me to you on my birthday.
You'll be amazed at where you can land.